New Music Friday: SkyFlood

Northampton rock quartet SkyFlood have been on the edges of the music scene for a bit of time now, but firmly seem set on making a name for themselves in…

Northampton rock quartet SkyFlood have been on the edges of the music scene for a bit of time now, but firmly seem set on making a name for themselves in 2019 with a revised line-up and a series of singles, starting with the marvellous 70s-style rock-pop of ‘Destiny’. New Boots spoke to the band about how they got here and where they go next.

How did you guys get together?
Craig O’Donnell: SkyFlood started about two years ago and not long after we released our first single ‘Flawless’. Since that time we’ve played many shows in and around Northants, but we’ve only recently began to gain some momentum as our current line up. We had a couple of band member replacements, but now it’s the strongest as a group it’s ever been. Rob and Lewis joined in November after advertising online, and Oli and I met through our old bass player over a year ago. With Oli it was love at first sound for me; he really kicked some of the songs up the backside and got them moving.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in music?
Craig O’Donnell: I would say it’s upbeat and colourful, as well as being quite dark at the same time. One of my main influences over recent years is Hans Zimmer – there is so much feeling in his scores and sometimes it’s nice to hear music without lyrics to make your own world up in a piece of music. My other influences include Radiohead, London Grammar, and Muse.
Oliver Law: Our sound is very different to anything up-and-coming. We have a wide variety of influences and sounds which all mash together to make something unique. My main influence is Queen which hopefully shows through my style of playing a little.
Lewis Else: Some stand out drummers for me are Jon Beavis [Idles]. He has such an driving and relentless sense of energy. Of course Players like Stewart Copeland too, filled with feel without overplaying ever.
Robert Hughes: Music taste? I like to keep it varied. As much as I love spag bol, I wouldn’t want to eat it every night and I try to keep it that way with music too – a nice varied diet. As players I like John Mcvie and John Deacon because they both focus on serving the song, but both are capable of adding some of the most memorable touches. Think ‘The Chain’ or ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ – in both cases simple but trademark bass lines.

What was the reaction like to ‘Flawless’ single, from 2017?
Craig O’Donnell: ‘Flawless’ was strange just because we released the song before playing any gigs and also had it played on BBC Introducing, so for anyone who listened to it that would have been their first time hearing it before they had even seen us perform it. The initial reception was great; we managed to get a few gigs just from that song alone, and it really helped us to build a platform to progress.

Tell us about this new single, ‘Destiny’.
Oliver Law: ‘Destiny’ was the first track I jammed with Craig. It started off very Supertramp, but it gradually became more dynamic and stronger to get the live shows going with a bang. It’s probably my favourite track.

What are your live shows like?
Craig O’Donnell: I would say, energetic and emotional. Our set starts off quite energetic and we try and carry that through the whole set but with the lyrics of some of the songs it balances out quite nicely

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
Craig O’Donnell: Yeah, my favourite place I think is probably The White Hart in Corby. It can be quite an intimate but explosive venue and when everything is just right it can make for some amazing shows there. My favourite band is Sarpa Salpa: we played our very first gig with them, and they were so lovely and kind to us and ever since I’ve been a massive fan of them, and their music is great too. My other close favourite is definitely King Purple – we haven’t played with them but really want to, they’re again so lovely and make amazing tunes.
Oliver Law: I’m more familiar with the Northampton venues than local bands. We’ve played a few local venues. I Always love the King Billy because it’s quite well known. Hopefully we can move up to the Roadmender before the year is out.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Craig O’Donnell: My favourite moment is actually hearing ‘Destiny’ on BBC Northampton, because there was nearly a point it wasn’t going to see the light of day and to top it off Lal had very lovely words to say about it, which I was ecstatic with.
Oliver Law: Favourite moment of last year was finally getting ‘Destiny’ and a few of our other tracks recorded. We went through a couple of producers because we were very picky about the mix, and we drove them out of the country. But we eventually got there with a company called Damage Audio, who has absolutely knocked it out the park

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Craig O’Donnell: Mine was an Icelandic Artist called Olafur Arnalds, called Re:member
Oliver Law: The last album I bought…25 copies of our unreleased EP, because it’s that good.
Lewis Else: The last EP I bought was Flamingods ‘Kewali’. It’s a crazy mix of eastern folk mixed with psychedelia and electronic music

What is your burning desire for the band to do in 2019? What plans do you have?
Robert Hughes: To play some gigs, write some anthems, entertain the masses and have some excellent fun.
Craig O’Donnell: Destiny is going to be the first release of 2019 and definitely not the last from what we’ve got lined up.

‘Destiny’ is out now across the usual digital platforms. Photo credit: Hana Smith

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Feb 20th – Feb 26th

LASTELLE + LOOSE TOOTH + 72% + EX-PETS Wednesday February 20th The Lab, Northampton Atmospheric hardcore from Oxford, and three of NNs finest hard hitters: hardcore-y grunge rock, the three-piece…

LASTELLE + LOOSE TOOTH + 72% + EX-PETS
Wednesday February 20th
The Lab, Northampton
Atmospheric hardcore from Oxford, and three of NNs finest hard hitters: hardcore-y grunge rock, the three-piece instrumental noise rock, and no-compromise noise rock to really get you started on the right foot. Must see. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

NIGER BARKER
Thursday February 21st
The King Billy, Northampton
Barker has just released his first solo album The album, in addition to his three albums with Cowboy Hat and That Fuzzbox Voodoo. A mix of fired-up blues rock and alt.country. He plays solo in front of six video screens, as he is an international award-winning filmmaker as well as a musician. 8.30pm start, free entry

BUSHPIGS + VENUS FLY TRAP + DUNCAN BISATT
Friday February 22nd
The Lab, Northampton
The twenty year career of Bushpigs sees some original material being tried out, plus some Marabar Caves songs to get nostalgic over. Support from ShoeTown’s iconic electronic goth pioneering duo, and singer-songwriter Bisatt to open proceedings in melodic style. Doors 8pm, free entry

THE OCCASIONAL ORCHESTRA + PHIL DOLEMAN + ODETTE MICHELL + THORNFIELD
Friday February 22nd
Earl’s Barton Working Men’s Club
A Kontra Roots night: rousing six piece band to headline, a ukulele virtuoso, a new English folk singer, and the latest incarnation of the legendary Thornfield play the warm-up. Music from 8pm, £3 entry

THE MISPELT + SPRING PARK + BUCHA EFFECT
Saturday February 23rd
The Lab, Northampton
Punk times in Earl St! Two Northampton bands of much disrepute, plus London mates up for the crack too. Doors 7pm, price TBA

THE KEEPERS + THE BARRATTS + DUNCAN BISATT
Saturday February 23rd
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Twinfest: The Road to MaNo. The traditional send off gig for the bands playing in Germany. Featuring acts you know and love. Give the chaps a good old fashioned proper send off now! Doors 7.30pm, free entry

SANE + ZIZANY
Saturday February 23rd
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Ambient electronica from a band that is swiftly appearing on everyone’s lips.  Joined by the solo brainchild of Zachary Bullock – experimental trip-hop is promised. Music from 9pm, free entry

MARTIN CARTHY
Sunday February 24th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
’60s folk legend of much repute, making albums often alongside fiddle player Dave Swarbrick. Has also played with The Watersons, Steeleye Span, Albion Country Band, and the Brass Monkey ensemble. Doors 7pm. Ticket link says ‘unavailable’, so perhaps phone venue to see if tickets are available

SAD DRONE
Sunday February 24th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Live improvised ambient soundscapes from some local musicians including Josh Ryan and Joel Harries, using a mix of guitar, synths and loops. An intimate show in the basement. Doors 8pm, free entry

 

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Happy Mondays to headline Roadmender in December

The Happy Mondays will bring their Greatest Hits Tour to the Roadmender in December as part of a mammoth 29 date UK tour. The band’s classic line up of Shaun…

The Happy Mondays will bring their Greatest Hits Tour to the Roadmender in December as part of a mammoth 29 date UK tour.

The band’s classic line up of Shaun Ryder, Bez, Rowetta, Gary Whelan, Paul Ryder, Mark Day and Dan Broad will be playing all of their hits such as Step On, Kinky Afro, Hallelujah, W.F.L., Loose Fit, Judge Fudge and 24-Hour Party People among many others.

After signing to Tony Wilson’s Factory Records, the late 1980s saw the Happy Mondays become the pioneers of the Madchester sound as they blended their love of funk, rock, psychedelia and house with the sounds of the UK’s emerging rave scene.

The band’s third album, 1990’s platinum-selling Pills ‘n’ Thrills And Bellyaches, led to the Happy Mondays crossing over into the mainstream to become icons of Britain’s biggest cultural phenomenon for a generation.

In 2016, the Happy Mondays won the Ivor Novello’s Inspiration Award, further cementing their reputation as one of Britain’s most influential and loved bands.

The tour begins on October 23 in Inverness and ends on December 21 in Lincoln, stopping off along the way London’s Roundhouse on October 31.

Happy Mondays bring their greatest hits tour to the Northampton Roadmender on Friday, December 13.

Tickets cost £35 in advance before fees.  There is a pre-sale on Wednesday, February 20, at 10am via the Roadmender website before tickets go on general sale on Friday, February 22 at 10am.

For more details, visit www.alttickets.com/happy-mondays-tickets

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New Music Friday: Poetic Horror

Poetic Horror (aka Kailan Price, aka that singer/guitar guy from Fox Chapel) is a Northampton-based bedroom songwriter and producer. With his knowledge and love of dream pop and hip-hop Poetic…

Poetic Horror (aka Kailan Price, aka that singer/guitar guy from Fox Chapel) is a Northampton-based bedroom songwriter and producer. With his knowledge and love of dream pop and hip-hop Poetic Horror creates instrumentals washed in reverb and erratic rattling hi-hats. Third tune ‘Blue Light’, featuring that man again L30 Robinson, just dropped, and we took this celebratory moment to ask some questions to Price.

How did this project begin?
I started getting into beat making and production. I’ve always had a love for hip-hop and electronic music. The idea that I could just sit in my room, make music on a computer, put some vocals on top and just release it to the world really just fascinated me.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your influences?
I guess the sound is kinda lo-fi and homegrown. It’s heavily influenced by hip-hop. I have a massive love for producers like Madlib and Swedish producer Whitearmor, he is insane. I also have a lot of love for dream pop and post-punk, so some influence from those genres may also carry through.

You’re studying at BIMM London music college right now, alongside fellow Fox Chapeller Johnny, correct? How’s it all going? 
Yeah London is great. Just exploiting the student maintenance loan for music equipment and trying my best to get the work done amongst all the madness.

What was the reaction like to to the first two Poetic Horror songs you put out, ‘City Air’ and ‘Astronaut’?
Yeah it’s been good. I’ve had so much love and support from the hip-hop community in Northampton, and yeah it seems a lot people rate what I’ve done so far.

Tell us everything about this new one, ‘Blue Light’.
‘Blue Light’ is a little collaboration between me and the super talented L30 Robinson. I just do a little sing and he goes in hard with some bars. It’s nice.

Will this ever be a live project too?
Yeah 100%. I’ve just bought a portable sampler from eBay, so I shall be hitting the road very soon.

Is Fox Chapel simply on a bit of a break now? Will there be new sounds and shows in 2019?
I’m not sure, everyone’s just doing their own thing. I hope that we can maybe bring it back and play some shows. We have a lot of unreleased music and it’s depressing me.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Them A Mad Over Me by Yellowman.

What is your burning desire to do in 2019? What plans do you have?
After I throw a couple more tracks out I really want to make a mixtape or an EP of some kind. Just sit down and focus on something bigger, and make something I’m proud of. So far I’ve just been making songs in one day and throwing them out and not really thinking about songwriting or anything. So yeah, just get something real good out and play some shows.

Blue Light is out now via the usual digital platforms

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Album review: Ecco Pine

ECCO PINE ECCO PINE [self-released] Hailing from our very own ShoeTown are brand new alternative/electro-rock trio Ecco Pine – aka Adam [guitar and vocals], Ali [guitar] and Louis [bass and…

ECCO PINE
ECCO PINE [self-released]

Hailing from our very own ShoeTown are brand new alternative/electro-rock trio Ecco Pine – aka Adam [guitar and vocals], Ali [guitar] and Louis [bass and synth]. Though the band only formed last year they have certainly made a grand entrance to the music scene; their unique ambient sound means they are by no means late to the party. In a recent success for the band their track ‘More Than This’ was featured on the ‘Best Up and Coming Acts of the East Midlands’ Spotify playlist, alongside other favourites The Keepers and Sarpa Salpa.

The album’s seamless blending of rock and electronic tones creates a unique ambience that gives the band its distinct sound. Imagine the lovechild of Massive Attack, Vampire Weekend and Talking Heads – if you can! Nature is a constant element running through the album, from the panoramic artwork of an open road, stretching far into the distance, sandwiched between the sea and alpine woodland, to the carefully constructed tracks.

The floaty, atmospheric style immediately transports you to another place: a tranquil forest glade or mountain top of your choosing, somewhere entirely removed from the reality of everyday life. It offers an outer body experience for your mind. Such features beautifully combine in ‘The River’, with its crystal-clear, flowing serenity, and ‘Pines’, with its movement and moments of darkness, mirroring a night-time woodland trek.

The bands indie influence shows through, in tracks ‘More Than This’ and ‘Stranger Things’, the latter tipping its hat to the popular series of the same name. ‘Aliens’, of a sci-fi influence, and ‘White Wall’ further the album’s themes of escaping the here and now, echoing some melancholic lament for the current state of things.

Here’s hoping it’s the start of things to come for the band. Be sure to show some local support and stream or download your copy.

Rachel Thomas

Ecco Pine is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and Amazon Music

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Feb 13th – Feb 19th

JASON ACHILLES + CRASH FOX Thursday February 14th The King Billy, Northampton From Hollywood, Los Angeles Achilles returns to the Billy, playing as his eponymous instrumental & experimental rock duo. Support from…

JASON ACHILLES + CRASH FOX
Thursday February 14th
The King Billy, Northampton
From Hollywood, Los Angeles Achilles returns to the Billy, playing as his eponymous instrumental & experimental rock duo. Support from Northampton’s own garage blues duo. Music from 9pm, free entry

RONI SIZE
Friday February 15th
The Roadmender, Northampton
20 years ago The Mercury Prize win for the Roni Size & Reprazent album New Forms brought drum’n’bass to the forefront of dance-music news. It’s anniversary re-release garnered huge support, cementing Size’s position at the top of the game. Selections of local DnB DJs such as AON are in support. Doors 10pm, £18 tickets

ALEX TRACEY
Friday February 15th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Yorkshire-based Tracey melds funk and indie-pop to create fresh, infectious rhythms. Doors 8pm, free entry

TOPLOADER
Friday February 15th
The Picturedrome, Northampton
Since forming in 1997 Toploader have over two million album sales to their name and a string of top 20 hits both home and abroad. In 2000 their cover of ‘ Dancing in the Moonlight’ became a global hit and transformed them into a household name. Doors 8pm, £12 tickets

JONO & THE UKE DEALERS + VELVET ENGINE
Friday February 15th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
Ukulele fronted, outspoken quartet who are the flag-bearers for socially-conscious Northamptonians. Singer-songwriter Velvet Engine plays her first Pomfret show. Music in the barn from 9pm, free entry

WARS + I CRIED WOLF + WOVENLUNG + MUTINY
Saturday February 16th
The Black Prince, Northampton
Five-piece post-hardcore band from Rugby, with support from Banbury hardcore metallers, ShoeTown metalcore quintet, and new groove metallers from Northants. Doors 7.30pm, £7 tickets

INCOGNITO + REPRO JAM SQUAD
Saturday February 16th
The Roadmender, Northampton
’80s jazz funkers who made it big in the early ’90s via Gilles Peterson [‘Always There’, ‘Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing’, ‘Still a Friend of Mine’ etc]. Doors 9pm, £27.50 tickets

P-HEX
Saturday February 16th
The Lamplighter, Northampton
Local 18-legged sweary funk machine play live, promoting their album Quantum Funkanics. Doors 9pm, free entry

LEVI WASHINGTON
Saturday February 16th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Singer-songwriter, rapper, beat maker, multi-instrumentalist and former member of Grassroutes. Music from 9pm, free entry

MYSTIC CREW
Saturday February 16th
The Golden Horse, Northampton
Local reggae legends get on it down Far Cotton way. Doors 8pm, free entry

NEIL TAYLOR + CHRIS FOX + ZOE WREN + PAUL RICHARDS
Saturday February 16th
The Sargeant Memorial Hall, Brafield-On-The-Green
Former Tears For Fears band member and guitarist for Robbie Williams playing live, with local support. Doors 6.30 pm, £13.50 tickets

STORMBRINGER + FUELED HATE + STONEPIT DRIVE
Saturday February 16th
The Prince Of Wales, Kettering
Northants hardest rockers, Corby metallers, and local grungey rockers make up a formidable bill. Doors 8pm, free entry

ATTAN + SHARKTEETH GRINDER + THE DARKHORSE + CALIBURN
Saturday February 16th
The White Hart, Corby
Rocked Up presents the viciously filthy hardcore Norwegians, with mathcore and hard rock supports. Doors 7.30pm, £4 tickets

SPRING PARK + KID KLUMSY + 5 GO MAD + LEFTOVERS + MR BADAXE
Sunday February 17th
The King Billy, Northampton
The ‘Abuse Your Confusion’ tour hits ShoeTown, the home of the punk headliners. Also on the tour are Coalville rockers, south-coast punks, and ska-punks from somewhere. Doors 5.30pm, probably free entry

ATTAN + SHARKTEETH GRINDER + CASKET FEEDER + CALIBURN + NAILBREAKER
Monday February 18th
The Black Prince, Northampton
The joint headline tour that hit Corby on Saturday rocks up to Northampton. All the cores taken care of here: support from metalcore from MK, hardcore from Northants, digitalcore from Rushden. Doors 7pm, £4 tickets

DUNN WIV WHISKEY + SHELLY CARE
Tuesday February 19th
The White Hart, Northampton
Another Great Knight Folk Club event, celebrating local original folk talent. Headliner play songs from albums Not Till Yesterday and Jonquille. Doors 7.45pm, £5 entry

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New Music Friday: Dan Pigeon

East Northamptonshire artist Dan Pigeon has given 2019 one of it’s most esoteric and avant-garde releases already, in the form of the ‘Milky Grey’ EP. Trying to describe this skittering,…

East Northamptonshire artist Dan Pigeon has given 2019 one of it’s most esoteric and avant-garde releases already, in the form of the ‘Milky Grey’ EP. Trying to describe this skittering, snaking, abstract lo-fi beast is a tough one; best to just read the interview with him and head to the streaming link below, yeah.

How/why/when did you start this project?
I started Dan Pigeon around March last year, when I bought my laptop. I’ve always wanted to start making music and had loads of ideas in my head, but never actually got round to it because I had no proper means of getting it recorded and mixed. Teaching myself to produce has been a really interesting challenge and I’m actually really happy with how quickly I’ve picked it up. I’m not amazing, but I’ve got the basics I guess!

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in music?
I’d describe it as atmospheric, intimate, almost haunting. My EP is probably a bit of a weird listen to a lot of people. It fits into the whole alternative rock/lo-fi region, but I cant place exactly where. I haven’t really got round to defining it just yet, because it’s in its early days. I’m really hoping to evolve my sound for the next EP – refine my skills and really hone in on creating an atmosphere that no one else has done before.
I’m into a whole range of music. I spent a lot of time trying to expand my music taste last year and I’m really glad I did. I’d have to say my favourite band is Teen Suicide. I’m also really into The Wytches, Earl Sweatshirt, King Krule, Radiohead, etc. Don’t think I’ve ever related to an album more than DC Snuff Film / waste yrslef [albums by Teen Suicide]. I’m into a whole range of genres: experimental hip hop, jazz, hardcore punk, post rock, etc. But mostly I listen to a lot of dreary lo-fi and anti-folk stuff.

You’re part of the Acolytes world, correct?
Yeah I am actually. My brother’s the lead guitarist. I’m really close with all the members, and two of them play in my band when I perform as Dan Pigeon. We’re all part of the ‘NN10 Noise Club’, which is more of an inside joke between us but I guess it’s a music collective. Shout out to Nailbreaker and Dylon Dean – two of the solo projects from Acolytes. They’re really making some sick stuff at the moment, and I’m too excited to see where they go. From what I know Acolytes are gonna be back at some point, but its a mystery to know when exactly.

Tell us about this ‘Milky Grey’ EP.
The EP is something I spent about nine months on. It’s six tracks long and about 20 minutes in length. It’s a collection of songs I’ve written about some of the stuff that’s been going on in my life. It’s mainly about my mental illnesses and just some observations I’ve made about life in general. The world’s a really messy place and I’ve had a difficult time adjusting to how shit everything is, so having the opportunity to express myself has been great. It’s really important to me that people don’t just put it on shuffle because otherwise it doesn’t flow. The songs are really contextual to the actual EP, so just taking random snippets really doesn’t do it much justice in my opinion. I want people to listen to it when it fits their mood. It’s not something I’ve made with the intention for people to have it on as background music, it’s much more intended for when you’re feeling a bit gloomy about everything. Listening it out of context or on the wrong day could ruin it in my opinion, so if you’re gonna give it a listen take in what I’ve just said.
One of my main intentions with it was to make something that’s a bit quirky and experimental, so I’m actually quite happy with how it turned out in that sense. I don’t want to sound like everyone else. I’m so bored of hearing the same sound time and time again. It does make it harder to find the right audience though – alternative music isn’t for everyone, so I can imagine a few people listened to it and thought it was boring or whatever, but I’m fine with that.

What was the first live show like? The music on the EP is quite intricate and lo-fi, was it an easy thing to translate to a band environment?
I did a launch night at The Garibaldi Hotel on the 5th of January, and live shows tend to play out differently, which is something I’m almost glad about. I tend to do more energetic, punky covers of my songs because it’s more fun and I think people are more likely to watch it and get involved. I don’t really have that much if a fanbase, so I’m worried people wouldn’t really get it if I played the songs exactly like the EP.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire?
Yeah I guess I am. Over the last few years I’ve been to a load of local gigs in Northampton, mainly at The Lab and the Gari. I’ve only really pulled myself together and organised gigs of my own recently but I have met and seen some really great artists in and around Northampton – shoutout to the NN10 Noise Club especially, but also big shoutout to I’m Just Really Sad, Sharkteeth Grinder, Grynn. So many great bands in Northampton, and it’s great to see a scene of something you’re passionate about.

What has been your favourite Dan Pigeon moment so far?
Probably releasing the EP. I’ve had a real love/hate relationship with it but over the last few weeks I’ve really become a lot more proud of it, and I’m progressively getting happier with the stuff that I’m making. It’s really exciting for me that I’m able to be doing this, so anything’s a plus!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The Party Suite by Dan Blake. One of those albums I just stumbled across and I’m so glad I did. Some really funky, vibrant coffee shop jazz with some really engaging sections throughout – definitely worth a listen.

What is your burning desire to do in 2019? What general plans do you have?
To be honest I really wanna start building a fanbase and playing a load more gigs. Starting Dan Pigeon has been so fun so far and I cant wait to see what else it has in store for me. It’s something I really care about and want to share with people, so writing more music and evolving is gonna be really fun. I’m hopefully going to London to do a philosophy degree later this year, so I’m gonna really throw myself in at the deep end and try and spread my music as much as possible. It’s something that’s truly special and it’ll help me build my confidence massively.

The Milky Grey EP is out now via the usual places

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Feb 6th – Feb 12th

BOOGALOOSA Wednesday February 6th The Malt Shovel, Northampton A Midlands group that bring a beaty mix of New Orleans funk, swamp rock and Americana with jazz/blues tinges. Both originals and…

BOOGALOOSA
Wednesday February 6th
The Malt Shovel, Northampton
A Midlands group that bring a beaty mix of New Orleans funk, swamp rock and Americana with jazz/blues tinges. Both originals and covers promised. Music from 8.30pm, free entry

THE OLD GREY DOGS + RICHARD MATTHEWS & KAREN ANGELA + CHRISTOPHER MOODY
Wednesday February 6th
Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby
Acoustic Night with open mic slots and featured acts: this month you get a local bluegrass band, “two fabulous voices”, and “distinctive singer-songwriter with a wide range of styles”. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

THE HURRICANES
Friday February 8th
Club 43, Northampton
Rebel Waltz night. The loud mod garage headliners promote power-pop debut album Let’s Go. Doors 8pm, free before 9pm then £4.

HERIDA PROFUNDA + KING OF PIGS + NAZI KILLER + VILE SECT
Friday February 8th
The Lab, Northampton
Grindcore from Poland, Nottingham oldschool hardcore punk, fast hardcore from Leicester, and new Birmingham powerviolence trio. Doors 7.30pm, £5 entry

BENNY & THE JENGO MASSIVE
Friday February 8th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Three brothers from Rugby, some of them of The Anteloids fame. Their first Northampton headline show bringing you live funk disko hip-hop techno fun. Doors 8pm, free entry

NAILBREAKER + WORRY + POT POURRI + LA FOLIVORA + FUNERAL PARLOUR
Saturday February 9th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Loud angry music in the Gari basement. Featuring Northampton electro-noise artist Nailbreaker, Oxford forward-thinking hardcore quartet Worry, London raw thrash-punk from Pot Pourri, Earls Barton’s first and only synth-based grindcore duo La Folivora, and Hitchin screamo newcomers Funeral Parlour. Doors 8pm, free entry 

EXPLODING EAR ENSEMBLE + EX-PETS
Saturday February 9th
The Lab, Northampton
MK sextet dealing in “post-noise mutated malevolent punk jazz”, with support from ShoeTown minimalist punk trio. Doors 9pm, £5 entry

THE KEEPERS + GOGO LOCO
Saturday February 9th
The Pomfret Arms, Northampton
A couple of ShoeTown’s finest retro-tinged rock’n’roll combos combine forces. Music from 9pm, free entry 

AL LOVER + [SANE]
Sunday February 10th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Los Angeles-based producer Al Lover has spent the last several years evolving a unique approach to psychedelic and experimental electronic music. Creating a broken abstraction of what some might see as trip hop, Al uses a mix of samples, drum machines, live instrumentation, analog synthesizers and effect processing to draw out elements from the past and connect them to the future. Al goes from the 2011 garage/psych project ‘Distorted Reverberations’ – where he remixed bands such as Thee Oh Sees and Night Beats – to his upcoming exploration of synthesized kraut, dark ambient and trap, ‘Existential Everything’, out February 1st on Stolen Body Records.  Northampton’s [sane] create catchy, electronic music with a smattering of synths, samples and guitar riffs over crunchy, textured beats. Doors 8pm, free entry

KATIE SPENCER
Sunday February 10th
The Old Forge Tea Room, Cranford
Drawing on influences such as John Martyn, Roy Harper and Laura Marling, Spencer creates modern folk music which owes as much to East Riding as it does to the American greats, with striking vocals and adept songwriting. Music from 2pm, £6 tickets [call 01536 330014 or email theoldforgecranford@gmail.com]

 

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New Music Friday: XOV

Northampton rapper XOV has been sharing his tunes online throughout 2018 and he has kicked off 2019 with a real piece of work in ‘Ledgur’, his latest collaboration with L30…

Northampton rapper XOV has been sharing his tunes online throughout 2018 and he has kicked off 2019 with a real piece of work in ‘Ledgur’, his latest collaboration with L30 Robinson. New Boots wanted to learn more.

How did you start making music? Where’s the name come from?
When I was younger I used to write down little raps to do at our local community centre, but never took it very seriously to begin with because the rhymes were all over the place and I just didn’t feel like I could ever be successful at the craft. But when I started uni I used to write down raps when I was having bad days and spoke openly about depression, anxiety and other mental illness that I have witnessed or gone through. I worked very closely with Leo Robinson in promoting his music and decided I had enough confidence to show him this rap (which went on to be called ‘Paradise Is Scary’). He really enjoyed it and it dropped last July and since then I started doing rap.
The name XOV was just something silly I used to rhyme everything with and kinda kept the name. It may seem corny but I had a very lucid dream about being on stage and people chanting it and I always wanted that dream to become a reality, so I thought why not call myself the name.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
My main influences are emo rappers such as Lil Peep, XXXTentacion, Trippie Redd, but I also grew up listening to the greats like Wu Tang Clan, Grandmaster Flash and even bands such as Nirvana and AC/DC I’ve always been brought up around such a broad range of music.

What was the reaction like to ‘Paradise Is Scary’ and ‘Switch Up’?
‘Paradise Is Scary’ is my first track I ever released and I was really surprised with the reception, it gained 1.5k views and although I’m proud of the song I do believe the sound has changed and I’ve become so much more confident over the months of its release. ‘Switch Up’ hasn’t been released properly yet but it’s a powerful story of not having confidence to speak to a girl and Leo plays the voice of reason. Funny thing about that song is we had a very similar talk a few years ago, so it’s technically based on a true story.

Tell us about this new release, ‘Ledgur’, a collaboration with L30 Robinson.
‘Ledgur’ is a song about pushing yourself away from everyone around you due to a lifestyle that is very sheltered. It’s one of my favourite songs of mine as it has some lyrics that are very personal. The back to back with me and Leo has to be my favourite, as it really showcases both of our abilities and shows people we are a solid team.

What are your live shows like? You’ve been doing some spots with Leo, haven’t you?
I have been doing shows since July alongside Leo. They are amazing, I love performing live. The reception I’ve received has been overwhelming considering I’m still really new to performing and rap music, but people always say how they can’t believe I’m still new and that’s the best feeling.

How important has Leo been to developing your sounds and skills?
Leo has been a huge help, he is always helping me try develop my own individual sound. I’ve known Leo for many years and worked alongside him promoting his music, and even helped towards a record label named Wordworkers a few years ago. So we have a rapport already; we have very similar ideas for how we want our music to sound. He is a hardworking artist and mentor.

Do you feel part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire? Any favourite people/venues to play with?
I feel like Northampton’s music scene is very diverse with some amazing talented people. I have found artists that are very similar to the type of sound I’m going towards: people like Poetic Horror, Kiao, L30, Mio Flux and Patchy The Rockstar are just a few that I really cannot wait to work alongside. I often perform at the Lab on Thursdays with the Lay It Down lot, it has to be my favourite time to perform as the feedback is amazing and there are so many different acts who vary in sound – from rappers, poets and other acts – it’s really good!

What has been your favourite moment of the past year?
It has to be performing at Twinfest in July at the Pomfret Arms and the Lamplighter. The atmosphere was amazing and the other acts who performed were awesome. The festival is great for artists like me to develop into stronger artists.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I bought was Lil Peep – Come Over When Your Sober Part 2. This man’s music means so much to me as he was so open about things other people shy away from, that’s including drug take and mental health and suicide and uses melodic rap to get the messages across. It’s my favourite album of last year.

What is your burning desire to do in 2019? What plans do you have?
I want to release my EP ‘Dystopia Is Heaven’ and really focus on becoming a confident performer as well as maybe even appearing on radio with one of my songs. I plan to release as much music as I physically can to show people the different styles of rap I have from flows to delivery.

 

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Jan 30th – Feb 5th

LAY IT DOWN IVW SPECIAL Wednesday January 30th The Lab, Northampton The urban night moves from its usual Thursday slot for one week to be a part of IVW. Featured…

LAY IT DOWN IVW SPECIAL
Wednesday January 30th
The Lab, Northampton
The urban night moves from its usual Thursday slot for one week to be a part of IVW. Featured acts: Leo Robinson, Har-Q, Reality, Anonymous Impact, and RG The Baron. Doors 8pm, £2 entry

FOREST OF FOOLS + HOMELESS SHAKESPEARE + ALDOUS PINCH
Thursday January 31st
The Lab, Northampton
The second IVW show at The Lab. Jump-up folkadelic, gypsy jazz, theatrical musical madness from Leicestershire and ShoeCounty. Festival royalty headline, plus experimental gyp-hop outfit in the middle, and the story telling gin-reaper himself to open. Doors 7pm, members £5 on the door, non-members £6.

THE KUMARI [pictured] + GREASY DIABLOS + TYPE 22
Friday February 1st
The Lab, Northampton
London grungedelica trio headline this IVW event, with five critically acclaimed singles/45s under their belts [released on international indie record labels] and a self-titled debut album all available. Rushden-based garage/punk/filthy indie lads in the middle, and new indie punks from ShoeTown will open. Doors 7.30pm, £4.50 tickets/£5.50 on the door, Facebook event

BAD GIRLFRIEND + MUNDAYS + ODDITY ISLAND
Friday February 1st
The White Hart, Corby
First of two White Hart IVW shows. Authentic DIY/ punk Birmingham trio headline, with localish three-piece west coast stoner psych give off that shoegaze buzz, with the intriguing Kettering psych-folk quartet to kick things off. Doors 8pm, £2.50 tickets

SKIRT + THE KEEPERS + GAZELLE + ANOA
Friday February 1st
Steel Park, Corby
A night of indie, punk and rock’n’roll from Corby, Northampton and Leicester favourites. Doors 8pm, £5 tickets 

WISHING WOLF + WHO SAVES THE HERO? + DOWNCAST + PT-33
Friday February 1st
Raff’s Bar, Wellingborough
A night of emo/pop-punk to blow the cobwebs away and kick 2019 off properly. Doors 7pm, £3 tickets/£5 on door

THE TOUCH
Friday February 1st
The Talbot, Kettering
The ’80s-style rockers kick off their 2019 campaign with a hometown show. Music from 9pm, free entry

THE KEEPERS + DEAF TRAP + BRAZEN FOXES
Saturday February 2nd
The Lab, Northampton
More IVW joy, from a trio of indie and alt-rock guys from Northampton and Daventry. Doors 8pm, £4 entry [£3 members]

GESTALT
Saturday February 2nd
The Black Prince, Northampton [front bar]
Electro art-punk from Leicester. From 8pm, free entry

KING PURPLE + THE BARRATTS + MIO FLUX & PATCHY THE ROCKSTAR + THETRAGICBAND
Saturday February 2nd
The Black Prince, Northampton [back room]
The grungey Corby trio were our ‘ones to watch’ for 2019. Support from ShoeTown’s finest in the indie and hip-hop worlds. £3 tickets/£5 on the door

ALISON LIMERICK
Saturday February 2nd
The Picturedrome, Northampton
Limerick will be performing ‘Where Love Lives’ [voted #1 dance anthem of all time by Radio 1 and Mix Mag]. Then club classics til 1am. Doors 9pm, £8 tickets

YELLOW DOG RHYTHM & BLUES BAND
Saturday February 2nd
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Northampton’s number one rhythm & blues band are back at The Albion for their first gig of the year following some studio time. Tonight will include the launch of their new five-track, all original, EP. Doors 8.30pm, free admission.

DIRT BOX DISCO + YEAR ZERO + HAZARD
Saturday February 2nd
The White Hart, Corby
The second IVW show in Corby. Flamboyantly-dressed punks return in promotions of sixth album Immortals. West Midlands punks in support, with Luton punks to open. Doors 7.30pm, £10 tickets

ANNA BASSETT + PAUL GREGORY & MICK FARMER + JACK DONOVAN + SIAN & GINA + DANIEL BUTTERWORTH
Saturday February 2nd
Raffs Bar, Wellingborough
HOP Events presents a night of local singer-songwriter talent. Doors 7pm, price TBC

KING’S GAMBIT + BEFORE BREAKFAST + JACOB BRATHWAITE
Sunday February 3rd
The Lab, Northampton
Folk superheroes of Northampton, all female indie-popsters from Sheffield, and the velvet-voiced singer-songwrtier from Wellingborough all make up the final 2019 IVW show at the Lab. Doors 7pm, £4 entry members, £5 non-members

 

 

 

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